I found something I like. Well, Cameron actually gave me his name. I love the gardens. I love the grasses and the perennials mingled in together. Here's something from his site that exemplifies, up close, what I like about his designs.
Piet Oudolf - West Cork, Ireland
I really like the picture in their header. It's simple yet elegant. It attracts wildlife and reseeds itself every year. I wouldn't even need to be mowed unless I wanted to.
So, what I want is somewhere in between. I want a light and airy space that incorporates perennials and shrubs into the design. I'm gonna start by scattering seeds this fall. Larkspur, nigella, Lily of the Valley, and others for the spring, poppies by the handful. In summer, the rudbeckias, shastas, cosmos, and salvias will stand side by side with agastache and echinacea. Little clumps of perennials spread between fields of whispy annuals. Instead of grass, I'll use cosmos. Instead of stone to edge, I'll mow my path. It'll connect precisely nothing to nowhere.
With this in my head, I started seeking out a place to put the necessities, the raised veggie beds, the fruit trees and blueberries(still not planted), the tomatoes, the crape myrtle....I figured it out as soon as I turned the corner just two steps out from the kitchen side porch.
There in the center of the last photo is where I will build my patio. It makes sense. It gets late evening shade from the oak tree in the front yard. It's close enough to the kitchen that meals could be had out there. It's private enough, but there are some issues to deal with this fall as I start moving things. There's the duplex (rental) and gramma in the house next door. She was staring at me as I took this photo.
And then there's the driveway and Larry's trash receptacle...no, the one across the street. The one in my driveway is mine, but with all the trash in the basement, I haven't brough it in yet. Don't be giving me evils, they just emptied it today. But I should be down there cleaning up. Instead I'm replanning next year's gardens.
For the duplex, I have a couple pyracantha planted around here. There's Loropetalum next to the wall. I've also get several Leyland cypress that need to be moved from the wall/fence, so I'll place them in better spots too, about 10-15' apart. I want to block their view, but not build a wall. Others will be moved to the gully. I'm looking at eleangus for screening too. I want to close in the back yard a lot more on that side. I shouldn't have taken so much out to begin with.
For Larry's house, I have a lavender crape myrtle that will go where the pampas grass is currently. That grass will get way too big and be a nighmare very soon. I'm going to move it somewhere else so it can get as big as it wants.
Now, veggies and tomatoes. I've had great luck in the current tomato bed. Nematodes aren't a problem here, and I've had no blight so far. I'll build a raised bed there and use it for veggies and tomatoes. I'm going to concentrate more on certain things where this year I just did a hodgepodge.
I haven't made a firm decision yet on what veggies I'll grow, so I'll build another bed where I had my corn this year. I need to bring it out more into the sun. It will be about 4' in front of the current bed. That will give me a two level garden with about 256 square feet of good, rich dirt.
Between the two beds, there's a sloped strip of weedy, rooty, vinca infested dirt. Bind weed grows well here. So does periwinkle. I'm going to kill and pull all that I see the rest of this winter. In spring, I'll load this area down with cosmos and zinnias.
The rest of the backyard will be given over to reseeding annuals. As things progress, I'll start to add perennials and grasses. At least that's the plan for now. It's not a large backyard by any means. I am aware of the scale issues I will have. I think. I see it in my head as a small clearing in the woods, a place to have a picnic or watch the stars with someone you fancy.
Now, where should I plant that Thundercloud Plum?